Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi Denies Holding Dual Citizenship

  • Kenyan-born South Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi maintained that she is not a Kenyan citizen when questions arose about her citizenship.

    Senator Gichuhi released statements to clear up doubts she may not have properly renounced her Kenyan citizenship.

    In one of the statements, constitutional law expert, Professor Yash Pal Ghai, maintained that Gichuhi became an Australian national in 2001 and in doing so gave up her Kenyan citizenship.

    "Under both the independence constitution and the 1969 constitution, a Kenyan who acquired a foreign citizenship automatically lost her Kenyan citizenship," Professor Yash Pal Ghai stated.

    [caption caption="Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi"][/caption]

    Although the 2010 constitution allows dual citizenship, a statement released by Kenyan High Commissioner Isaiya Kabira confirmed that Gichuhi had not applied and was therefore not recognised as a Kenyan.

    A new legal opinion was reported which argued that the senator did not automatically lose her Kenyan citizenship when she became an Australian citizen.

    Advice from the University of Nairobi professor Edwin Abuya stated that Senator Gichuhi should have written to Kenya’s nationality affairs to renounce her citizenship.

    However, the Australian government maintained the Senator had no case to answer.

    Australia's workplace relations minister, Craig Laundy, stated there was strong legal advice supporting her position, adding that he believed her.

    [caption caption="Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi"][/caption]

    Laundy further maintained there was no reason to send her case to the Australian High Court because the Kenyan embassy had made her citizenship status clear.